Week Links [9 September]

  1. The moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! Get Organized with The Home Edit dropped on Netflix last night! As a rule, I don’t watch anything that bills itself as reality TV, but I can occasionally make exceptions! Home organization, organization in general really, is my greatest passion, so this is like pornography to me. I do worry that bingeing this will cause me to absolutely spin out and reorganize my entire home. I’m already looking at my shelves and drawers disdainfully. I will say that, as nice as the aesthetic component of organizing is, creating functional systems has genuinely improved my life and helped me with anxiety and executive function. There is no such thing as organized chaos. The most creative and successful people I know are organized (and diagnosed and medicated). You don’t have to put your books in rainbow order—The Home Edit is, to some degree, selling an unattainable fantasy. But creating systems that work for rather than against you will change your life, and maybe even spark a little joy.
  2. So, one truly kooky thing that’s been happening is that I’m starting to window-shop my own wardrobe. Like, remember those comfy flats you used to wear to work? Maybe one day you’ll leave the house again and get to put them on! I swear that, since work-from-home began, I’ve exclusively worn my Birkenstocks and my Rothy’s flats. I have not put on a single other pair since March 17. I mean this especially about the Birks, but if you’re going to spend too much money on a pair of shoes, these are the ones. I would exclusively wear Birkenstocks if I lived in a warmer climate.
  3. The TikTok teacher is my queen. Ban homework.
  4. My September Book of the Month is Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. I loved Homegoing, so I’m sure it will be an amazing read. I actually cancelled BotM because I’m trying to practice what I preach and stop buying physical books unless they’re really meaningful or something I’ll return to over and over again. I obviously want authors to make money, but getting ebooks through the library is absolutely where it’s at.
  5. My best friend sent me this recipe and !!!!!!!!!!!! Deb’s mind!!!!!
  6. My husband bought me this ukulele for my birthday. I promise I’m not a 2011-era Zooey Deschanel type or anything, but if there’s a chord chart in front of me I can play. I do have a feeling that this will be relegated to the decoration realm, but it was very sweet of him and who doesn’t love a pastel rainbow?
  7. THEY’RE MAKING A FILM OF REBECCA STARRING ARMIE HAMMER. Ceci n’est pas un drill! My body is ready! I loved this book as a teen, and I’m re-reading it before the film drops on Netflix in October. The e-book is on Amazon right now for literal shekels.
  8. This is random, but I have an enormous monstera plant in my living room that was overgrown and out of control, so I cut some of the leafy stems off to use as decorations around the house. I expected them to have a shelf-life like flowers but…they simply do not die! I’ve had three in a vase in my bedroom for months that look as vibrant as the day I cut them off. Needless to say, when I discovered that they were immortal, I put them all over my house and now I live in a rainforest.
  9. Finally started watching I May Destroy You and…it may destroy me.
  10. The episode of Black Frasier with Chris Hayes and Clark Neily is a must-listen, if only to shock and amaze yourself by vehemently agreeing…with a self-professed libertarian. Also, THEE Phoebe Lynn Robinson creating a podcast called Black Frasier in these dark times is a gift we do not deserve.

Sunday Scaries [5.31.20]

Good morning…I guess?

Things are awful right now. Things have always been awful, but they’ve reached a boiling point. I’m delusional optimistic enough to dream about a future where we can abolish the police and put an stop to the seemingly endless murders of black Americans, but it’s not incumbent upon those same black folks whose lives are at risk to fix it. It’s on us—the people with the privilege to walk through life in relative safety. If you have the means this week, please donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund in support of the protesters. I know that this small act made me feel slightly less helpless in the face of tragedy. It is, by definition, the least I could do. I stand in solidarity with the protesters across the nation and will use my voice and my wallet whenever possible to aid in the fight.

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image source: @arianagrande on instagram

Ariana Grande posted the above image on Friday, a list of the names of a fraction of the black lives that have been lost just in recent memory. I have spent so much of the past week crying and thinking of them, and thinking of all of the people who, as a result of police brutality, live in constant fear. I can’t believe not murdering people on the basis of race is a political statement rather than a universal moral belief.

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burlington, vt

*This post was written (and purchases made) prior to the murder of George Floyd by white supremacist police officer Derek Chauvin, which I feel bears noting because thinking about anything other than how to make change right now feels frivolous. Posting on social media is NOT the same thing as activism, but using a social platform and not discussing this feels wildly tone-deaf. This pointless little blog has always been a place where I can vent about things ranging from laughably stupid to deadly serious, and I’m so lucky to have a space to do so. I will never take this freedom for granted.

    1. Bookshop posted a list of anti-racist reading material and I can’t wait to check out some of these titles.
    2. I have officially gone insane and reorganized my refrigerator no fewer than 5 times during quarantine. The Home Edit dropped their fridge & freezer line last week, so you KNOW I snagged some drawers. I was literally inside my fridge with a measuring tape–should I seek treatment?
    3. Just started listening to Jessica Simpson’s Open Book and I started crying halfway through the prologue. I was never a huge JS fan, but I love memoirs and I’m so inspired by her bravery in telling her story. Even within the opening pages, she confronts so many issues that a lot of women never feel empowered enough to admit to or talk about. I’m listening via the Libby app; I cannot stress enough how important it is to support libraries.
    4. I am exclusively wearing t-shirt dresses these days. I used to love this dress, but I’m still not sure that we can support Everlane again, so I bought this one to try out.
    5. I keep seeing these as a promoted ad, and I definitely won’t get one for a while since outside is cancelled, but it seems like a great idea for when society reopens. Perfect for travel!
    6. I bought these for my bedroom and I could not be more pleased with the purchase.
    7. I caved and got a new laptop. Mine has been faithfully serving me for over 7 years, and it was just time. I justified the purchase because I’m going to start taking classes again (apparently one Master’s degree wasn’t enough…) although the *second* I completed the purchase of the new computer, my current one miraculously started functioning well again…Apple is Big Brother.
    8. Pretty sure I need to stop being suckered in by celebrity home goods lines, but these bowls are the best things I own and I want to eat dinner out of them every night.
    9. After decades of playing editions from the 1980s, I finally upgraded to a new Trivial Pursuit. I did win the first game by a hair, if you’re wondering.
    10. All of my song challenge playlists are done. End of an era.
      1. challenge 1: songs
      2. challenge 2: more songs
      3. challenge 3: even more songs
    11. Bonus Content: Punch Up the Jam did an episode about the greatest song of all time.

Rest in Power, and here’s hoping that by this time next week, we see some fucking justice.

-c

 

The Minimalist “Mini Edit”

My queens and idols Clea & Joanna of The Home Edit have graciously provided us with “mini edits” throughout quarantine—small one-day organizing projects to help us optimize our homes during this, well, sub-optimal time. Full disclosure, I will absolutely be ripping a few of their ideas off, but this particular mini edit is tailored very specifically to a certain kind of home: one that is already organized but seeking to minimalize. I’m so inspired by minimalist homes, but no matter how much I sell/donate, I never seem to be able to get all the way there. I’m, I guess you’d say, a maximalist clutter queen trying to become a Scandinavian ascetic.

If you are already tidy, but want to take it to the next level, here is my *very Barenaked Ladies voice* One Week Organizing Challenge!

Refresh the Refrigerator*

Be honest—when is the last time you actually cleaned your refrigerator? Like, took everything out and cleaned it? I’m a tidy gal, but I must admit that I’ve done this maybe…twice? I’ve had my fridge for like 4 years. There are plenty of great resources online to set you on your path. Jolie Kerr wrote the definitive guide to deep-cleaning your fridge, but here are my tips:

      1. Take every single item out.
      2. Wash your bins with soap and water, wipe down any shelves you can’t remove.
      3. Check expiration dates. Expiration dates are mostly a scam, and have more to do with corporate liability than health hazard, but some things really should be tossed on schedule. Your miso paste is probably fine, but the sour cream has got to go.
      4. Organize all of the food/bev into categories. Put them back in the proper place, i.e. vegetables in the crisper, cheese in the drawer, etc. It’s easy to get lazy and just throw things in there, but maintaining an organizational system not only makes cooking & eating easier, but saves you time at the grocery store, since you always know what you have. I can’t recommend fridge bins enough. Target’s are great and really cost-effective. If you want to splurge, definitely hit up The Home Edit’s line at the Container Store.

Now, repeat the whole thing with all of your cabinets and drawers. Be ruthless.

Pare Down the Paper*

You don’t need your tax returns from 7 years ago. Off to the shredder! Keep a shoebox handy for sentimental items like Christmas cards and recycle everything else. Basically, all you should keep is tax paperwork from the past 3 years (just in case), identity documents (birth cert, SSN card), things relevant to your current health insurance, and receipts if you itemize. Or, honestly, just digitize everything.

Itemize Your Inbox*

Emails cause some people a lot of stress, and for good reason! They’re omnipresent—they bombard us at work all day, and then in our personal lives they’re receipts, coupons, bank statements, tracking info, personal correspondence, and politics. It’s a lot to take in. My first suggestion is to use a service like unroll.me to unsubscribe from or hide unwanted emails. Next, create broad categories with sub-labels to help organize what’s already there. Soon you’ll be living an Inbox Zero Lifestyle! Here’s an example of ideas for a Gmail side menu:

  • Inbox
  • Career
    • Current Workplace
    • Former Workplace(s)
  • Education
    • Student Loans
    • Alumni
  • Finance
    •  Bills
      • Car/Car Insurance
      • Utilities
    • Credit Cards
    • Taxes
  • Personal
    • Causes
    • Family & Friends
    • Media
      • Newsletters
    • Misc.
    • Tickets & Travel
    • Wellness
  • Receipts
    • Fashion
    • Living
    • Misc.

Go through and delete anything older than 2 years, except tax/loan documentation and personal correspondence. Flag anything interesting that you haven’t gotten a chance to read. Take a deep breath and embrace freedom.

Sift through Your Shoe Collection*

“You’re never going to wear the yellow flatforms, Chelsea,” and other things footwear hoarders say. Truthfully, I feel like all femme-identified folx only need a pair each of the following shoes:

        1. Athletic sneakers
        2. “Fashion” sneakers
        3. Black pumps
        4. Black flats
        5. A “work” heel
        6. Riding boots (suitably waterproof for winter)
        7. Chelsea boots or booties
        8. Leather sandals (for everyday summer wear)
        9. Flip-flops (for the beach or pedicures)

When you purge, make sure you don’t overdo it and get rid of something functional #fortheaesthetic. But don’t get rid of your “fun shoes” either! You’re allowed to have a ton of fun shoes, just make sure you have sensible (preferably hidden) storage. I use this at my house and it fits…most of my shoes. It’s a great price and it looks really stylish. It also comes in a bench version, which I also have (for my husband’s shoes), which could be used as a TV stand as well.

Clean Up Your Carpets*

Do you have a pet? Or even just long hair that sheds? Your carpets/rugs are probably disgusting. No matter how much you vacuum, you can’t make up for the fact that rugs literally live on the floor. And vacuums can only do so much. Unless you’re a billionaire and can afford one of those fancy pet Dysons (please buy me one), a vacuum can only do so much. And every rug has different cleaning instructions (for instance, jute can’t be cleaned with water). Figure out what your rug is made of, Google deep-cleaning instructions, and go to town. You will be shocked at what comes up. This is especially important if you or a loved one has allergies!

Tackle Your Toiletries*

Your bathroom cabinets, drawers, or closet can be a breeding ground for clutter and chaos. Somehow, you can run out of bar soap while simultaneously owning 14 travel-sized tubes of toothpaste. I guarantee you have tubes of lipstick that should definitely be discarded. Getting a handle on your bathroom storage makes life a thousand times easier. This is a great guide to getting started! And since bathrooms are the least fun area to clean, less clutter means less surface area to wipe down—it’s a win-win!

Rehome Your Reading Material

I am a huge book-lover, and I would never go so far as to propose, à la Marie Kondo, that one should only own 30 books, but you probably don’t need all of the books you have. I actually wrote a post about this a few years ago and I absolutely stand by what I said. The beat up copy of Catcher in the Rye from freshman year of high school that you’ll never read again is just taking up space (if, like me, you probably will read that book again, treat yourself to a nicer copy and ditch the public school standard issue). You don’t need to own Faulkner’s entire bibliography; Toni Morrison was influenced by him, and her books are way more enjoyable. If you read her, you get the point.

Bonus Points:

Cut Down Your Closet

Another tricky one. People get very sentimental about clothes. I tend to go scorched earth on my closet every few years and then regret getting rid of that oversized Banana Republic sweater or that too-small Anthropologie jumpsuit that I will definitely fit into again someday. I think Marie Kondo speaks on this subject far more eloquently than I possibly can, so suffice it to say that you truly do not need all of those clothes you never wear. Go through everything, make a donate pile (or resell them on Poshmark!) and enjoy your simplified wardrobe!

ROYGBIV Refresh*

Nothing makes a space visually interesting like color coordination. Organizing your bookshelf in rainbow order (or your dresser drawers, or closet, or literally everywhere in your home) is functional and fashionable. My favorite thing to color-coordinate is phone apps!

this is my actual iPhone right now (i live that zero-inbox, zero-notification life)

*I have actually accomplished all of these things very recently, so I know it’s not impossible!

Shout Out Sunday 9.15.19

Good morning! Going to be a short and (sort of) repetitive one, since I’m rushing out the door to tutor. P.S. Yeah, I’m an English tutor! If you’re local to the Boston/Providence area email me at chelsea.e.harper@gmail.com to set up a sliding-scale lesson! Beyond that, here’s my week in review!

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source: netflix. watch just keep livin’? and i’m gonna die alone and i feel fine!

  1. Saw Jen Kirkman (again) on Friday night and she was amazing, per usual. Catch her on tour!
  2. I went to a polo match yesterday and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. You’d think polo would be really hard to follow but it’s actually really accessible and interesting! We got to even go behind the scenes and meet the horses since my friend Annie is an amazing horse girl and has mad connections. Going to Newport Polo was so laid-back…next time we’ll definitely have to tailgate! I’m actually thinking about maybe taking a riding lesson at Fairfield Farm…can you believe I used to be afraid of horses?
  3. I am on an eternal quest to find cute pajama sets, and these are looking mighty fine to me. Leopard print forever.
  4. It’s sweater szn, baby! Yes, yes, and yes!
  5. Girlfriend Collective is ALL 15% off right now, and I managed to score additional discounts with code WINGIT. I hope it still works for y’all! I got the Topanga Bra & High-Rise Leggings in Daybreak.
  6. Treated myself to a few Everlane goodies: this shirt, this shirt, and these jeans are Choose What You Pay!
  7. Re: the fashion posts above, I’m really trying to sort through all of my clothes and purge, purge purge! In a perfect world, you should only have to KonMari once, but I think a refresh every few years is warranted. I’m learning important lessons about impulsivity and purchasing. Remember how I bought myself these Docs? Yeah…they gave me a blister about the size of a quarter. Will be returning, if possible. Sometimes you try to incorporate something into your style that just doesn’t fit…
  8. And last but not least, it’s my best friend’s birthday today! SHOUT OUT SARAH.

Until next week!

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

If you know me personally, you know that I am a bit of a freak for organization.

One of my long-term life goals is to start a professional organizing service, but unfortunately, with the popularity of Marie Kondo and The Home Edit, the market is a bit saturated (also, I have literally no idea how to start a business). A clean home/workspace brings me an immense sense of calm, and has been an invaluable tool in maintaining my mental health. Cleaning and maintaining a household is hard work when you’re severely depressed, but it’s just those little actions that can help to lift you out of a funk*.

I decided to compile some of the things that have helped me conquer the chaos, because so many articles online rely on the reader to buy expensive products or have limitless free time, and, babe, we’re not all IG influencers. I’m out of my house for work 50 or more hours a week. If you search “entryway organization” on Pinterest, you get images of million-dollar homes (I don’t know how much houses cost, to be fair). I don’t have the time or resources to have a Pinterest-perfect home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love and cherish my space.

Here are some of my favorite tips, tricks, and products for keeping a chaos-free home!

  • Actually KonMari your house. I know it’s controversial because most people have hoarding tendencies (way to generalize, Chels), but it’s the first step in the process and you can’t skip it. If you’re drowning in things, you’ll never get a real handle on your home. This is a blanket solution to your too-much-shit issues, since it applies to every room and every category in the house.
  • Sell stuff! Selling your used clothes and bags on Poshmark or at consignment stores can make getting rid of things into a game. I know people who’ve had luck with housewares on LetGo. You might as well get cash money as a prize for organizing.
  • This article on how to deep-clean your fridge is totally invaluable. It’s got to be done! I guarantee your mayonnaise has expired.
  • The dollar section at the entrance to Target! This section varies seasonally—it could even have different products in it week to week—but it almost always has storage solutions like bins, boxes, and jars, usually in adorable colors. P.S. Speaking of storage solutions, The Home Edit just dropped a collection at The Container Store and it is #goals.
  • Do the dishes while you cook. Nothing is more discouraging than finishing dinner only to face a massive pile of gross dishes. The best hack for this is to…
  • Use dishwashing gloves! Using gloves in the kitchen has changed the game for me. You don’t have to touch any food remains or wash your hands fifty times as you clean. Even though I use natural cleaning products, I still worry about residue on my hands from cleaning sprays, so this has spared my hands a lot of grief!
  • Reusable bags for every damn thing. I bring a reusable bag or two with me every time I go into a store. These fit everything, and they fold down into practically nothing. People have an inherent tendency to hoard tote bags (guilty), but if you narrow it down to a few you really love and actually use them, you spare yourself ever having to contend with those gross plastic bags ever again.
  • *very Oprah voice* EVERYTHING GETS A BIN. These are my personal favorite at the moment—I took everything in my office and separated it into categories (stationery, notebooks, sentimental items, etc), and it has made things so easy to find!
  • Containers, dispensers! Decant all your stuff into reusable containers and then just buy refill packs or concentrates. If you have, for instance, your dish soap in a glass bottle, then you can tell at a glance exactly how much you have, and won’t be tempted to buy extra “just in case.” Look under your sink and tell me how many extra bottles of countertop spray you have.
  • Take inventory before every trip to the grocery store. Seems like a pain in the ass, but how many bags of lentils do you need? Utilizing bins, containers, and turntables in your cabinets and fridge will make this a total breeze. Also, this spice rack is a game-changer if you’re like me and have every spice known to man.
  • Laundry gets taken out of the dryer, folded, and put away on the same day. This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you set a pile of underwear on top of the dresser because you’ll fold it and put it away “later,” it’ll still be there in a week, minus the ones you’ve plucked from it to wear (am I the only person that does this?). Laundry is my least favorite chore because it is never and can never be finished, but the quicker it’s out of sight, the quicker it’s out of mind. If you hate laundry too, the KonMari is crucial—when you have fewer articles of clothing, everything has a clear and designated place, so putting away your clothes is a breeze. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually do a capsule wardrobe…
  • Set reminders on your phone to water your plants. This is a new thing I’m trying. Pick a day a week, or month, depending on your plant’s specific watering needs. I have let so many plants perish from negligence, including a spider plant my husband managed to keep alive for the better part of a decade. Dead plants kill the visual vibe of any space, but living plants are good for the air quality in your home and make you seem like a classy adult who has her shit together!

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this is why you’ve got to water your plants. look how droopy and lopsided he is! i’m hoping i can bring him back to life.

I’m sure I could come up with a million more tiny things I do each day to keep my living space under control, but the above are tried-and-true methods that have taken me from being an absolute slob (just ask my parents) to a person who’s fiercely proud of her home. If you live with a partner (or kids), it can be hard to adjust to new routines, but I promise that in due time, they’ll see the myriad benefits of a clean space and get into it too!

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too many drawer dividers is just not a thing.

I apologize for the quality of the photos—I just used my phone and didn’t clean up beforehand—I wanted to show pictures of my actual day-to-day house, post-organizational implementation. It’s never perfect, but it’s always colorful.

*In no way am I endorsing the idea that you can “cure” depression by cleaning your house. That’s nuts. But since small tasks can be so overwhelming to those of us who deal with these issues, accomplishing them can be genuinely uplifting.

Sunday Kind of Love xii

Welcome back to another installment of my link roundup! I had to get new tires for my car this week, so I’m broke, but I’ll be fantasizing about all of these wonderful things:

I’m re-reading The Hobbit for my Oxford Fantasists class this July, and it’s so, so cute to read as an adult. It’s so clear how much Tolkien loved medieval lit.

Anyone else super excited to see SOLO?

I can’t stop listening to Margo Price‘s All American Made. She is the second coming of Dolly Parton, and this album is so, so good.

Give me all of the Caboodles. ’90s kid 5ever.

Cannot wait to watch Ibiza! Phoebe Robinson and Vanessa Bayer are my faves!

I want this light fixture like you wouldn’t freaking believe. This is on my purchase list for when I finally get a “grown-up job.”

I haven’t started The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 yet, but I’ve heard it’s amazing (and super dark). Dare I take the plunge?

I’m thinking of doing this to all the drawers in my house. Too much? #neverenoughorganization

I can’t seem to get enough of this song right now. Belle & Sebastian forever!

Not to get all downer-y on ya, but I started using this app a couple of days ago and I’m really liking it so far. Great for keeping yourself accountable!

 

catch u nxt wk!

-c

Get To Work!

Control

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I know, I know. I’m a slave to capitalism. It’s unreasonable to spend $55 on a planner.

But I did it, and I’m not sorry. Because the Get to Work Book is my favorite planner, ever.

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I recently discovered that I’m a strong candidate for ADHD…which was not shocking for anyone who knows me. I wish someone had mentioned it to me before I was nearly thirty, but that’s neither here nor there. (LOL you thought this post wasn’t going to get crazy personal?) For someone with my, let’s say, executive functioning difficulties, organizing the mind is a top priority. I decided to start micro-managing my own brain by scheduling absolutely everything—work, class, gym, outings with friends—all of it goes in the calendar.

The Get To Work Book is an amazing resource. You can organize monthly, weekly, daily, and annual tasks, take ample notes, and set goals and priorities. There’s a power in seeing it all in writing. The page layout is even available online for those of us who might be a bit gunshy about the purchase.

I got a set of the Today Bookmark, the Book Band, and the 2018 Get To Work Book in black. I spent the big bucks on the full thing, but there are tons of other more economical options on the site, including the Project Breakdown Notepad and the Mini Grid Notepad.

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Moving forward, I’ll probably get the Perpetual Calendar Notepad annually, and I need these Rainbow To-Do List Stickies, for sure. What I love most about these products is that my purchases support a woman-owned small business!

Get To Work Books are available in some brick and mortar stores, but online is the easiest way to go.

Other Ways to Stay Focused

Oui Fresh Productivity Notepad Set— Another small business to support! The ladies of Oui Fresh just launched a small line of office products, including their Meal Planner Notepad. Being surrounded by beautiful things—from flowers to fonts—boosts my mood and helps me keep my cool. An organized physical space is as important as an organized brain space. The beautiful colors, graphics, and typography on Oui Fresh products makes work time feel like play time.

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did you think i was kidding?

Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar, or iCal — Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s called iCal anymore. I’m 100. I never used these incredible tools before last October, and let me tell you, they’ve changed my life. I’ve got them all synced—I get notifications on my phone and FitBit every time I have an engagement. Sometimes it’s annoying, like when it buzzes to tell me to go to work as I’m arriving to work, but the security of knowing I’ll never forget an appointment is well worth it. This would have sounded horrifying to me when I was younger, but now, I can’t live without it.

Cute Pens — It sounds dumb, but creating pleasant visuals is a great way to trick your brain! Color-coding your planner with pens (my favorites are purple Pentels and multi-colored PaperMates), is a great way to keep tasks organized, especially for those of us still in school.

Lifesum, FitBit, or the tracker of your choice — Another completely obsessive-compulsive thing that I do is track my exercise and food intake. But mostly food, let’s be honest with ourselves. What I love best about this is that it reminds me to drink water! I drink more water than the average bear, but it’s still not enough. Also, most days, the apps can shame me into eating yogurt instead of an egg-and-cheese bagel, so it’s great for self-flagellation. Keeping track keeps me accountable! Also, tracking your meals creates a routine, which is so important for people, comme moi, that struggle with, well, accomplishing things. Le FitBit monitors my sleep, which, as you can see from the above photo, I’m definitely not getting enough of! Also, now y’all know my goal weight, so.

Whiteboards — I legit have 3 separate whiteboards on my refrigerator. One for daily tasks, one for shopping/groceries, and one for weekly tasks. This serves the dual purpose of keeping me accountable for my duties and chores and letting my husband know where the hell I am all day. I got all of mine in the Target dollar bins—bless whatever they call that bargain section at the front—but this one, this one, and this one are perfect!

A Pill Case — I’m not even kidding. I’ve never been so regular on my meds. I bought this pill case, and I religiously fill it weekly (of course it’s pink, so I actually pay attention to it). I keep it right on my kitchen counter, where I typically make my coffee, so I never forget to take my antidepressants vitamins! This one is so DANG cute. Another great resource for this is care/of, a monthly vitamin delivery service I just started using.

***

This may seem horrifically excessive for “normals,” but taking these measures has improved my life significantly. Do you have trouble getting shit done? What measures have you taken?

In the immortal words of our Lord and savior, Beyoncé, “Always stay gracious / Best revenge is your paper.”

xoxo,

c

“It’s the little things.”

…is something that my mother-in-law-to-be uses so frequently, that it’s a staple phrase in any impression of her. Normally, we roll our eyes at her clichés (i.e. “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “cherish the moments”) but today, I find myself really appreciative of one tiny, little thing.

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My kitchen pegboard, you guys. I finally did it. (Disclaimer: I was 22 when I picked out those curtains, and was going for colorful country décor instead of my current vision of a neutral, modern space.)

I don’t know who officially “invented” this method of storage, but Julia Child (a.k.a. the life inspiration of us all) famously used it, and it’s no surprise why. It turns an otherwise empty, boring wall, into a functional work of art!

The cabinet/drawer situation in my kitchen is less than ideal, considering my love for cookware. I had been dying to do this for ages, so one day I just drove over to Home Depot and got my supplies! My father-in-law-to-be (I must really like these people, huh?) built a frame on which to mount the pegboard, and hung it up today. Now I have an entire cupboard for dry/paper goods! So much less counter-clutter!

Room by room, this former bachelor-pad is turning into a home. An inspiring space is so important to me—it allows me to feel refreshed and productive, a major plus considering this is my last year of college (FINALLY)  and I have to knock it out of the park. I recently transitioned from using a wall-facing desk in my foyer/office/mudroom/misery pit, to making the kitchen table my home base. The kitchen is my happy place—cooking and eating are my favorite things to do—so working in a comfortable, familiar atmosphere has been so inspiring! My new view while I work is a piece of my art, brightly-painted tchotchke shelves, and our stereo—everything from writing papers to paying bills has been 100 times more interesting.

The kitchen is nowhere near finished. I’d still like an island and a new fridge, both of which are in progress projects, and to whitewash or paint our cabinets white, but in its current state, our kitchen is functional and aesthetically-pleasing. Like Pinterest Junior.

image via Google
image via Google

I don’t know if Ms. Child would be horrified that I made my version of (vegan) “Warm the Fuck Up” Minestrone from Thug Kitchen’s cookbook tonight, but I’m sure she’d be glad that women of my generation are still cooking, and relishing the process.

–DellaBites

Products I Love: ABM x Agendas!

So, like all 20-something girls with a pulse and a Pinterest, I’m obsessed with Elsie, Emma, and Laura over at A Beautiful Mess. I’ve made their recipes, done their DIYs, and gotten tons of inspiration from their books and site. My house is like a living tribute to ABM. It’s borderline sad.

Anyway, when they announced that their academic agendas were up for preorder, I had to jump on it! I’m going back to school full-time in a month (provided my financial aid comes through!) and I definitely need to stay on top of my game. Graduation is on the horizon. I’m tired of being the ancient lady-past-legal-drinking-age in the classroom.  Plus, I’ve got this whole “wedding” thing coming up that I might need to stay organized for…

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The planners ship in mid-August (hopefully it will arrive not long after my birthday on August 19). In true ABM fashion, they come with cool little extras, like these emoji stickers:

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So cute, right? I of course opted for the following cover option, because gold foil is life:

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This actually looks like my desk at any given moment.

I’m so excited to receive mine in the mail! When it arrives, I’ll probably do a product review. In the meantime, I’ll just have to keep writing myself notes on scrap paper and hoping for the best!

**all photos via ABM